Charles Barkley rips those players who criticized Cutler

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler stands on the field against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of a preseason game at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 21, 2010. UPI/Brian Kersey

On Tuesday, Charles Barkley was on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago and voiced his displeasure with the players who criticized Jay Cutler for not finishing the NFC title game against the Packers last Sunday.

“I was mad at the players, to be honest with you,” Barkley said Tuesday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy’s heart. Now reporters, they’re going to do what they want to. They’re entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don’t think it’s appropriate to question another guy’s heart.

“That crosses the line, because you don’t know. If you go back and start looking at all the stuff that’s been said, and clearly one of the more vocal critics was Maurice Jones-Drew, and then you find out he missed the last two games with a bad knee. And he was really the first guy who crucified Jay. You have to be careful, because in the two most important games of the year, he sat out with a bad knee. And then it really makes him look like an idiot now.”

“I just think it’s inappropriate,” Barkley said. “It’s fair to criticize guys when they don’t play well, but it’s 100 percent unfair to criticize guys … if a guy says he’s hurt, you have to respect that.”

The main reason why this story has developed a mind of its own is because players were the ones who publicly attacked Cutler. Fans did too, but we’re idiots. We’re expected to react emotionally and not think things through. That’s our right as morons.

But to see the amount of players who immediately rushed to judgment on Cutler was surprising to say the least. This wasn’t a member of the media who ran with an idea in a post-game story. These were players who were jumping on him – and right off the bat, too. This was the biggest player-on-player beating via Twitter that anyone has ever seen.

I think it was fair for Barkley to bring up the fact that MJD didn’t play in the Jaguars’ final two regular season games due to a knee injury, even though the playoffs were on the line for Jacksonville. What happens in the future when MJD suffers an injury and he’s criticized for not toughing it out? It’s easy to say you would have played when it isn’t your body.

One criticism that Barkely have on how Cutler was how he seemingly didn’t try and help young quarterback Caleb Haine..

“I was very disappointed that he wasn’t standing beside that young kid,” Barkley said. “I was very disappointed he wasn’t there trying to work with that young kid. There were a couple of shots of them on the sideline, with [Hanie] looking at pictures, and [Cutler] was just disengaged. That’s a fair criticism.”

Barkley’s right, it didn’t look like Cutler offered much help to Haine on the sidelines. Then again, maybe Cutler just wanted to leave the coaching up to the coaches and decided that it was best if he stayed out of Haine’s ear.

After all, it’s important not to rush to judgment over something that we perceive, when in reality the situation may have been very different.

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